College students turn to parents for voting help

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By Madelyn Scroggie

EAST LANSING – With the primary elections approaching, many college students looking for guidance on voting have turned to their parents.

Students who are far from home, and don’t have the advantage to travel home, need to get an absentee ballot. However, some Michigan State University students say they need more information how to sign up or whom to vote for.

MSU pre-nursing sophomore Nicole Hamway

“Being from Florida, I most definitely don’t have the pleasure of traveling home as I please to vote, so I haven’t registered,” said MSU advertising sophomore Claire Cornett. “Even if I did register, I don’t know how to do that in the first place. I am going to have to ask my parents about how to do that because honestly I haven’t thought about needing to do that.”

The deadline to register for presidential primary in Michigan is Feb. 8. All of the information on how to register to vote, requesting an absentee ballot and seeing the potential candidates can be found on The City of East Lansing’s website under Election Info.

Some students who have already registered to vote but failed to request an absentee ballot now have to go back to where they registered online and request the ballot be sent to them by filling out an application. MSU pre-nursing sophomore Nicole Hamway is in this position.

“I really haven’t given it much thought yet,” Hamway said. “I don’t even know how to go about getting an absentee ballot to begin with. I will definitely have to ask my parents, who are governmentally experienced, but I’ll also go on Michigan’s government website where I registered and look for information there.”

A study by the Knight Foundation found that many millennials don’t vote in local elections because they don’t have enough information about candidates or see enough news coverage.

“I don’t really know who to vote for,” said MSU creative advertising sophomore Cara Murphy. “I feel pretty misinformed about the candidates, but that could be from my lack of interest in the topic.”

Many millennial voters do not seek out the information that does exist. In most cases, they report not having the time and or the interest to pursue this information.

The three students interviewed for this story demonstrated a trend when they said they were going to ask their parents for voting advice.

“I’ll probably research the candidates online the best I can and make an educated guess based on that,” Murphy said. “Other than that, I don’t have much else to go off of other than just asking my parents who to vote for or whom they are voting for.”

 

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